Arnaldo Pomodoro was born in Montefeltro in 1926, and moved to Milan in 1954. Once there, Pomodoro associated with intellectuals such as Alfonso Gatto, Leonardo Sinisgalli, Ettore Sottsass, Fernanda Pivano, as well as artists Fontana, Munari, Mulas, and Baj. As a result of creating his first “jewels” for the Triennale, Pomodoro was soon noted and discussed by many important art critics as an inventor of a unique “writing” never before seen in sculpture.
By the early 1960’s, after having investigated the properties of solid geometry, Pomodoro turned his attention to three-dimensional forms. The erosions and fractures that appeared in the surfaces of his sculptures were intended to break up the form’s perfection and uncover its internal parts. His transition to monumental sculpture began in 1966 after creating Sfera grande, a three and a half metre sphere for the Montreal Expo which now resides outside the Farnesina in Rome. This was the first of many works by the artist that have been placed in symbolically important public areas: i.e. the city squares of Milan, Copenhagen, Brisbane, Los Angeles, and Darmstadt, as well as in front of the United Nations in New York, the Paris Headquarters of UNESCO, and the Courtyard of the Pine Cone at the Vatican Museums.
Pomodoro has been included in several notable exhibitions such as the Rotonda della Besana, Milan, in 1974, the Belvedere Fort, Florence, in 1984, the Gardens of the Palais-Royal, Paris, in 2002, the centre of Lugano, Italy, in 2004, and recently at Palazzo Magnani in Reggio Emilia. He has been honoured with several important prizes including San Paolo in 1963, Venice in 1964, one of the six international prizes awarded by the Carnegie Institute in 1967, and the Praemium Imperiale for Sculpture in Tokyo in 1990. In 1992, Trinity College Dublin conferred on him a degree in Letter honoris causa, and in 2001, Ancona University a degree in architectural engineering. For merit from the Italian Republic since 1996, he was knighted the “Gran Croce dell’Ordine.” Most recently, he received the “Medaglia d’oro” from the Minster of Culture in 2005.
The artist taught in the art departments of various American universities: Stanford, Berkeley and Mills College inclusive. He has also continued to pursue one of his first passions, theatre set designs, creating “extraordinary machines” for sets representing all faces of theatre. All of these accomplishments have consecrated him as one of the most important contemporary artists. He currently lives and works by the darsena in Milan, Italy.
View Pomodoro's Website
Movement in Progress: A Conversation with Arnaldo Pomodoro
- originally appearing in Sculpture magazine (May 2005).
Photo Credits (top to bottom): Una battaglia: per i partigiani, 1971, bronze and steel, 400 x 360 x 360 cm.
Exhibiion at the Forte Belvedere, Florence, 1984. Photography by Antonia Mulas. Giroscopio I, 1986-1987,
bronze and iron, 380 cm. Exhibition in the Palais-Royal gardens, Paris, 2002. Photography by Paolo Mussat Sartor. Colpo d’ala: omaggio a Boccioni, 1981-1984, bronze, 380 x 400 x 550 cm.
Los Angeles, CA, Department of Water and Power General Office Bldg. Photography by Carlo Orsi.